Author Archive: ffxpadmin

What You Can and Can’t Recycle

recycle bin

We recently got new recycling bins at the Lifehacker office, and suddenly realized no one knew all the rules about recycling. Can you recycle plastic bags? Do you have to scrub out your containers? What about paper towels?

Every major curbside recycling program takes clean paper and cardboard, metal cans, and plastic jugs and bottles. Beyond that, things get complicated. But some general rules apply.

First, check your local requirements. Recycle by City has simple visual breakdowns for L.A., Chicago, Houston, Austin, Philadelphia, Flagstaff, Santa Monica, and West Hollywood. Otherwise, find your city’s sanitation department site. NYC and Phoenix have simple do/don’t guides.

Don’t Recycle:

  • Bubble-padded envelopes
  • Wax paper
  • Dirty napkins, tissues, toilet paper, or paper towels
  • Glass that’s not a bottle or jar
  • Photo paper: Usually not recyclable, but it depends on the brand.
  • Containers with a lot of food or liquid in them: Empty and rinse them, but don’t stress over it; they’re cleaned at the facility.

Do Recycle:

  • Pizza boxes: Unless they’re heavily soaked in oil and solid waste, these are fine. Just throw out the wax liner, and put the tiny plastic table in the plastics bin. When in doubt, rip off the greasy part and throw it out.
  • Paper with clear windows or staples

Recycle Somewhere Else:

  • Plastic bags: They get caught in the recycling machines, and workers have to shut them off and pull out the bags. Most cities only allow “rigid plastics.” Instead, find a recycling center, store, or neighborhood program that accepts them. (There are exceptions! L.A. allows clean bags and other soft plastics.)
  • Clothing and textiles: Look up drop-off options.
  • Motor oil: Your city might require you to put it on the curb separately from all other trash.
  • Batteries and electronics: Take them to a donation center or a store like Best Buy. If you throw out your batteries, at least tape down the terminals to reduce the risk of fire.
  • Appliances: Best Buy accepts many of these too.

Check Your Local Rules:

Including rules from the five biggest U.S. cities as examples.

  • Glass: Houston only takes glass at drop-off centers.
  • Plastics: NYC and L.A. allow all rigid plastics; Chicago only allows bottles. Houston has more complicated rules.
  • Metals: LA takes household metal; Chicago and Houston don’t. NYC, L.A., and Chicago take aluminum foil; Houston and Phoenix don’t address it online.
  • Paper: No dark paper in Houston.
  • Paper cups, If they’re clean and empty, are allowed in NYC, but not L.A., Houston, or Chicago.
  • Hardcover books: Fine in L.A., but not NYC, Chicago, or Houston. Phoenix doesn’t even take paperbacks.
  • Styrofoam: LA takes it; Chicago, Houston, and NYC don’t.
  • Shredded paper: In Chicago and Houston, you’ll need to find a drop-off center.
  • Milk cartons: In NYC, these go with other containers, not paper.
  • Trash bags: NYC takes container recycling in trash bags; Chicago doesn’t.
  • Separation: L.A., Houston, Phoenix, and Chicago take all residential recycling in one bin. NYC separates paper from other recyclables.
  • Commercial recycling: This is often handled differently than residential recycling, so it might come with its own rules. Ask your office manager or building manager.

Source: Lifehacker.com

iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 – All Things You Need to Know

The latest batch of dummy “iPhone 8” and “iPhone 7 Plus” series phones have apparently made their way out of China, as a pair of videos on Wednesday offer hands-on looks at what appears to be identical device mockups.

In a first video, YouTube creator Danny Winget got his hands on what he claims to be an “iPhone 7s Plus” prototype (dummy phone), though the part is almost assuredly a mockup based on leaked CAD renderings and rumors.

Like alleged “iPhone 7s” and “7s Plus” dummy units photographed earlier today, the mockups in Winget’s video are emblazoned with “Conformité Européenne” (CE) and battery disposal iconography. Apple digitized regulatory markings with iPhone 7 in the U.S. and moved the icons to the “About” section in Settings, leaving only the “iPhone” logo above small text reading “Designed in California Assembled in China” and information regarding model number, FCC identifier and IC code. International models incorporate regulatory marks, but are much longer than simply “CE.”

While the dummy unit is probably a knock-off, its design could be based on legitimate schematics. Apple suppliers in China have been known to leak sensitive data, including final design molds, documents and internal components.

As seen below, the “iPhone 7s Plus” dummy unit is expectedly similar to current iPhone 7 Plus hardware in terms of component positioning, bezel design and dimensions. The only obvious difference is a glass back, which appears to sport thinner antenna lines than existing iPhone models. Apple is anticipated to employ a glass chassis in all 2017 iPhone models to facilitate wireless charging.

Winget goes on to compare the “7s Plus” against a supposed “iPhone 8” unit, illustrating the extreme deviation in display size and obvious aesthetic differences. While the “7s Plus” model boasts Apple’s normal thick “chin” and “forehead” bezels, the “iPhone 8” bezels are almost nonexistent.

Notably, Winget’s “iPhone 8” sports white bezels, contradicting recent reports that Apple intends to limitfront face color options to black when the device launches. Whether the company plans to release a version with white bezels, as is available on certain iPhone configurations, is unclear.

A second video from Techtastic, also posted today, reveals what appears to be an “iPhone 8” chassis and front screen assembly. Both the chassis and front face are done in black, consistent with recent rumors.

Not much can be gleaned from the video, but it does give a sense of what the device might look like in a user’s hand.

Closer inspection of Winget’s mockup and the Techtastic unit shows both dummy models are identical to parts featured in today’s image from leaker Sonny Dickson. Further, a separate “leak” on Wednesday featured a gold copper colored “iPhone 8” showing the same “CE” and battery disposal indicia. Considering the timing and apparently identical markings, each of the components seen today seem to originate from a single source.

Apple is expected to debut “iPhone 8” alongside incremental changes to the iPhone 7 series at a special event in September. The new flagship smartphone is thought to include new and exotic technologies never before seen in Apple’s product line. A number of these features, including facial recognition, 3D-sensing cameras, a home button-less display, high-definition video recording, “SmartCam” photo and video capture, and more, have been all but confirmed by Apple’s inadvertent release of HomePod firmware late last month.

Source: Appleinsider.com

Rendering Now Used by Law Enforcement to Solve Plane Crash Investigation

FARO Laser Scanner Render

Investigators will be able to view the entire scene of a recent fatal plane crash on Interstate 15 in extreme detail from any angle they want because of the high-tech equipment used to document the scene.

The FARO X330 uses lasers and a camera to construct any scene around it, resulting in a high-definition 3D map.

Sgt. Randall Akers, the accident investigation program manager for the Utah Highway Patrol, said the department bought seven of the scanners in 2014 and each cost about $40,000.

Akers said the machine takes multiple scans to document a typical crime scene and each scan takes between 4 and 12 minutes.

“Like any laser measurement device it shoots out a beam and gets a return to measure distance,” he said. “It does it in 360 degrees — in a circle.”

Akers said the scanner is particularly useful when it comes to plane crashes because law enforcement responding to the scene aren’t experts in that field. Using the FARO, they can get a true to life 3D rendering of everything — from cars on the side of the road to miniature pieces of debris — and send it off to qualified investigators.

The FARO is about the size of an XBox console and is weather resistant. The data it collects is analyzed with a program called SCENE.

Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Todd Royce said the machines have been used at major crashes and some crime scenes, and Akers estimated they’re in use about once a week.

Akers said they use the FARO even at small crime scenes because, for instance, sometimes just using a single laser point to measure where a gun sits in a crime scene leaves crucial evidence behind.

“What if there happened to be some element to the handgun that didn’t get captured in a picture or something else?” he said. “Whatever that was, it’s gone.”

Akers said he was initially hoping the FARO would speed up crime scene analysis times to — in the case of the plane crash — speed up road opening times. He said that hasn’t turned out to be the case because of the multiple scans required and time it takes to set up scene markers for easier analysis, but they’re still incredibly useful.

The FARO scanner has other applications aside from accident reconstruction which includes industrial inspections, reverse engineering, and robot calibration, according to the FARO website.

Royce said the FARO renderings will be used by the highway patrol and the State Bureau of Investigation and handed off to the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board if requested.

Source: standard.net

African Coffee On The Rise Thanks To Specialty Coffee

african coffees

Preaching the gospel of specialty coffee can often feel like an uphill climb. You can have a beautiful floral Yirgacheffe or a Kenya that just tastes like pomegranate juice that just don’t seem to move because customers favor the comfort and familiarity of a more straightforward Central American profile. It can be frustrating to say the least. But have heart, SCW (specialty coffee warrior), a new article in Grub Street states that thanks to third-wave coffee shops, demand for African coffees is increasing and it is a boon for farmers.

The 70s were the last hay day for coffees coming from Africa; Ethiopia, Uganda, Angola, and the Ivory Coast were all top-ten countries in terms of coffee production. But in the last 40 years, numbers have dropped pretty significantly. As a continent, Africa’s total coffee exports have dropped by 25%, and only Ethiopia and Uganda remain the in top ten.

But the tide is turning. Since 2003, Africa’s global coffee yearly coffee exports have increased by 35 millions bags, from 95 million to 130 million. Leading the charge in this growth is the Yirgacheffe region of Ethiopia, but the article notes that Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi, and the Congo are also seeing increases in demand. This increase is crucial, as a Bloomberg article notes that coffee farming in Africa is facing a handful of threats: young would-be farmers are pursuing more profitable careers (the average age of a coffee farmer in Africa is 60), some farms are replacing coffee with subsistence crops, and even more still are choosing to sell their land entirely.

Nonetheless, demand for African coffees is trending upward, and that is thanks in no small part to the growing popularity of specialty coffee. So keep up the good work. Though it may not always seem like it, people are coming around.

Zac Cadwalader is the news editor at Sprudge Media Network.

An earlier version of this article stated African coffee exports had reached 130 million bags per year. This statistic refers to all global coffee exports. 

Source: Sprudge.com

3D graphics of Nvidia Uses AI are Now Better Than an Artist

Nvidia spans both gaming graphics and artificial intelligence, and it is showing that with its announcements this week at the Siggraph computer graphics event in Los Angeles.

Those announcements range from providing external graphics processing for content creators to testing AI robotics technology inside a virtual environment known as the Holodeck, named after the virtual reality simulator in the Star Trek series. In fact, Nvidia’s researchers have created a way for AI to create realistic human facial animations in a fraction of the time it takes human artists to do the same thing.

“We are bringing artificial intelligence to computer graphics,” said Greg Estes, vice president of developer marketing at Nvidia, in an interview with GamesBeat. “It’s bringing things full circle. If you look at our history in graphics, we took that into high-performance computing and took that into a dominant position in deep learning and AI. Now we are closing that loop and bringing AI into graphics.”

“Our strategy is to lead with research and break new ground,” he said. “Then we take that lead in research and take it into software development kits for developers.”

Above: Nvidia’s Optix 5.0 can “de-noise” images by removing graininess.

Image Credit: Nvidia

Nvidia has 10 research papers this year at the Siggraph event, Estes said. And some of that will be relevant to Nvidia’s developers, which number about 550,000 now. About half of those developers are in games, while the rest are in high-performance computing, robotics, and AI.”

Among the announcements, one is particularly cool. Estes said that Nvidial will show off its Isaac robots in a new environment. These robots, which are being used to vet AI algorithms, will be brought inside the virtual environment that Nvidia calls Project Holodeck. Project Holodeck is a virtual space for collaboration, where full simulations of things like cars and robots are possible. By putting the Isaac robots inside that world, they can learn how to behave, without causing havoc in the real world.

Above: The Project Holodeck demo

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

“A robot will be able to learn things in VR,” Estes said. “We can train it in a simulated environment.”

Nvidia is providing external Titan X or Quadro graphics cards through an external graphics processing unit (eGPU) chassis. That will boost workflows for people who use their laptop computers for video editing, interactive rendering, VR content creation, AI development
and more, Estes said.

To ensure professionals can enjoy great performance with applications such as Autodesk Maya and Adobe Premier Pro, Nvidia is releasing a new performance driver for Titan X hardware to make it faster. The Quadro eGPU solutions will be available in September through partners such as Bizon, Sonnet, and One Stop Systems/Magma.

Nvidia also said it was launching its Optix 5.0 SDK on the Nvidia DGX AI workstation. That will give designers, artists, and other content-creation professionals the rendering capability of 150 standard central processing unit (CPU) servers.

The tech could be used by millions of people, Estes said. And that kind of system would cost $75,000 over three years, compared to $4 million for a CPU-based system, the company said.

OptiX 5.0’s new ray tracing capabilities will speed up the process required to visualize designs or characters, thereby increasing a creative professional’s ability to interact with their content. It features new AI “de-noising” capability to accelerate the removal of graininess from images, and brings GPU-accelerated motion blur for realistic animation effects. It will be available for free in November.

By running Nvidia Optix 5.0 on a DGX Station, content creators can significantly accelerate training, inference and rendering (meaning both AI and graphics tasks).

“AI is transforming industries everywhere,” said Steve May, vice president and chief technology officer of Pixar, in a statement. “We’re excited to see how Nvidia’s new AI technologies will improve the filmmaking process.”

On the research side, Nvidia is showing how it can animate realistic human faces and simulate how light interacts with surfaces. It will tap AI technology to improve the realism of the facial animations. Right now, it takes human artists hundreds of hours to create digital faces that more closely match the faces of human actors.

Nvidia Research partnered with Remedy Entertainment, maker of games such as Quantum Break, Max Payne and Alan Wake, to help game makers produce more realistic faces with less effort and at lower cost.

Above: Nvidia is using AI to create human facial animations.

Image Credit: Nvidia

The parties combined Remedy’s animation data and Nvidia’s deep learning technology to train a neural network to produce facial animations directly from actor videos. The research was done by Samuli Laine, Tero Karras, Timo Aila, and Jaakko Lehtinen. Nvidia’s solution requires only five minutes of training data to generate all the facial animation needed for an entire game from a simple video stream.

Antti Herva, lead character technical artist at Remedy, said that over time, the new methods will let the studio build larger, richer game worlds with more characters than are now possible.

Already, the studio is creating high-quality facial animation in much less time than in the past.

 

“Based on the Nvidia research work we’ve seen in AI-driven facial animation, we’re convinced AI will revolutionize content creation,” said Herva, in a statement. “Complex facial animation for digital doubles like that in Quantum Break can take several man-years to create. After working with Nvidia to build video- and audio-driven deep neural networks for facial animation, we can reduce that time by 80 percent in large scale projects and free our artists to focus on other tasks.”

In another research project, Nvidia trained a system to generate realistic facial animation using only audio. With this tool, game studios will be able to add more supporting game characters, create live animated avatars, and more easily produce games in multiple languages.

Above: AI can smooth out the “jaggies,” or rough edges in 3D graphics.

Image Credit: Nvidai

AI also holds promise for rendering 3D graphics, the process that turns digital worlds into the life-like images you see on the screen. Film makers and designers use a technique called “ray tracing” to simulate light reflecting from surfaces in the virtual scene. Nvidia is using AI to improve both ray tracing and rasterization, a less costly rendering technique used in computer games.

In a related project, Nvidia researchers used AI to tackle a problem in computer game rendering known as anti-aliasing. Like the de-noising problem, anti-aliasing removes artifacts from partially-computed images, with this artifact looking like stair-stepped “jaggies.” Nvidia researchers Marco Salvi and Anjul Patney trained a neural network to recognize jaggy artifacts and replace those pixels with smooth anti-aliased pixels. The AI-based solution produces images that are sharper (less blurry) than existing algorithms.

Nvidia is also developing more efficient methods to trace virtual light rays. Computers sample the paths of many light rays to generate a photorealistic image. The problem is that not all of those light paths contribute to the final image.

Researchers Ken Daum and Alex Keller trained a neural network to guide the choice of light paths. They accomplished this by connecting the math of tracing light rays to the AI concept of reinforcement learning. Their solution taught the neural network to distinguish the paths most likely to connect lights with virtual cameras, from the paths that don’t contribute to the image.

Above: Nvidia uses AI to figure out light sources in 3D graphics.

Image Credit: Nvidia

Lastly, Nvidia said it taking immersive VR to more people by releasing the VRWorks 360 Video SDK to enable production houses to livestream high-quality, 360-degree, stereo video to their audiences.

Normally, it takes a lot of computation time to stitch together images for 360-degree videos. By doing live 360-degree stereo stitching, Nvidia is making life a lot easier for the live-production and live-event industries, said Zvi Greenstein, vice president at Nvidia.

The VRWorks SDK enables production studios, camera makers and app developers to integrate 360 degree, stereo stitching SDK into their existing workflow for live and post production. The Z Cam V1 Pro (made by VR camera firm Z Cam) is the first professional 360 degree VR camera that will fully integrate the VRWorks SDK.

“We have clients across a wide range of industries, from travel through sports, who want high quality, 360 degree video,” said Chris Grainger, CEO of Grainger VR, in a statement. “This allows filmmakers to push the boundaries of live storytelling.”

Source: Venturebeat.com

That Million Dollar Curb Appeal for the DIY-er

exterior rendering

This article is originally posted at smoothair.ca. If you want to read full article, visit http://www.smoothair.ca/home/million-dollar-curb-appeal-diy-er/

April showers bring May flowers…or so they once said! Hopefully that English proverb holds true for us here in the Pacific North West this spring. While it has been dreary outside, long days and warmer weather await!

But what to do with your front yard once the weather turns?

Right now it is useless. It looks tired. It looks old. The neighbours think the house is abandoned (not actually but you get the point). This spring you are going to make your yard scream modernity – and on a DIY budget no less! Now roll up your sleeves and prepare to transform your tired yard into a magnificently modern masterpiece.

Lawn TLC

The key to a beautiful house is a beautiful lawn. Spring and autumn are the best seasons for lawn repair and a bag of turf builder, combined with a regiment of moss killer and weed remover, are quick and cheap options to restore that deep green hue.
Consider borrowing your neighbour’s push-mower to get that short uniform look and do not forget to edge the lawn. With proper edging and a close shave, you will have a fantastic looking lawn all summer – don’t forget to water!

Plant A Tree

A regularly pruned tree of moderate height, say…no larger than 7 feet, can be a focal point in your garden. It draws eyes from the house itself and provides depth to a well manicured lawn that is cut both short and uniform. You can grab a juvenile tree for around $20.

Be Bold: Stain Your Cement

The world of stained cement is a marvelous one. You are only limited by your imagination…and maybe your budget. But I know you are a DIY master with a small pocketbook. Fear not! The people over at doityourself have a wonderful breakdown of staining that cement, and for as little as 50 cents per square foot. Not bad at all!

Accentuate with Native Shrubs

Small, upright shrubs placed in strategic areas in your front yard provide multiple benefits. Shrubbery helps to define features by framing or highlighting them and provides privacy when used as a hedge.

Using native vegetation is better because you know it can survive in your yard and requires less maintenance over time. It can also be cheaper as you can transplant vegetation from a local forest significantly reducing the costs associated with preparing your yard (don’t snag any plants from your neighbourhood park).

Also, using native vegetation will attract wildlife such as butterflies and birds. Local vegetation can be used to create waterwise gardens too; meaning you can have a garden that looks like a million bucks, and is environmentally friendly!

Modern Lighting for Any Budget

At this point your front yard is most likely the envy of the block. But you can really make this thing pop. Small, stainless steel bollards are a perfect accent to a well manicured yard that can give that million-dollar curb appeal for under 100 hundred dollars.

There is a HUGE selection of bollards to choose from, but we are going for an ultra modern aesthetic and short, stainless steel bollards are all the rage. If you buy solar, you don’t have to pay for electricity or bury any wire! Double Bonus.

I should warn you though. Making these simple, easy changes to your front yard may cause realtors to approach you with an offer of selling your house. That is the price a successful DIY-er must pay for their ingenuity.

Credit to Realspace 3D for this post.

The Best At Home Espresso Machine

best at home espresso machine

This is article is originally post at MyEspressoShop.com.

So you’re finally ready to upgrade to a professional-grade espresso machine? Congratulations! We know it’s a big step, so we’re here to help you along the way.

Buying a high-end espresso machine is one of the best investments (if not the best investment) a coffee lover can make. Not only will it allow you to be able to enjoy real authentic espresso, cappuccinos, and ‘velvety’ lattes in your own home or office, but it will also allow you to save money in the process (win-win!).

We feel it’s important to emphasis this point again: With a good machine, you will be able to make your own drinks at a fraction of the cost you would have to pay at coffee shops. With that being said, not all espresso machine are created equal. When you are buying your espresso machine, you want to be sure to choose the right one.

Below, we will be going over some of the different options you can choose from that are currently on the market. (Also, please note that when we say ‘best’, this is simply our personal opinion. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to features and qualities they prefer in an espresso machine, so we just wanted to share some of our favorites with you!).

Best Manual Espresso Machines

La Pavoni Europiccola Manual Espresso Machine. This particular espresso machine by La Pavoni is arguably the ‘top of the line’ in the entire market for manual espresso machines. Not only does it feature a classic design with its inclusion of the retro press (which essentially gives you complete control over every aspect of your shot), but it also has a beautiful chrome finish to it.

The machine is completely manual, so it will take some time to get used to. You will need to practicing using it to get comfortable with the amount of pressure you need to use, as well as figuring out the right pulling technique to really get the best possible shot each and every time. Because of the manual nature of this machine, it is more recommended for those that are willing to learn, have patience, and really want full control over the entire process.

This is not the machine to purchase if you are simply looking to find one that does all of the work with the click of a button.

Best Semi-automatic Espresso Machine

The Rocket Espresso R58 Espresso Machine is by far one of the best options if you are looking at semi-automatic espresso machines. Manufactured by Rocket Espresso, the R58 has a level of craftsmanship that absolutely shines. Because it features dual boilers for both steaming and brewing, it is going to provide you with the ultimate level of control.

Along with this, it comes with a plugin PID with a large display that can provide you with the details you need to be able to change the temperature of both boilers at once. You can either utilize the included water reservoir or simply pump a constant supply of fresh water into the machine. While Rocket’s R60V espresso machine is also fantastic, it’s quite a bit more expensive than the R58. That’s why we give Rocket’s R58 machine the edge.

Best Automatic Espresso Machine

La Spaziale S1 Dream T Espresso Machine. This was a harder category to choose for, because there are many fantastic options. But the majority of us feel that the La Spaziale S1 Dream T is the number one automatic espresso machine on the entire market. It comes with a fully featured programmable touchpad and features two different boilers which will allow you to both brew espresso and steam milk at the same time.

Empire State Building Giant Fashion Show

giant billboard

The Empire State Building is turning into a giant billboard on Wednesday, with massive projections of fashion images that will put Times Square’s posters to shame.

Prior light shows on the Empire State Building featured giant animals and artwork from the Whitney, but this year’s will be like having a front-row seat at New York Fashion Week. Spanning 42 floors of the building (that’s nine more floors than it covered in 2015) and rising 500 feet high, the show will feature iconic fashion images of everyone from Audrey Hepburn to Kate Moss, including iconic works by the likes of Andy Warhol.

The light show is in celebration of Harper Bazaar’s 150th anniversary and Tiffany & Co., and it’ll be presented by Glenda Bailey, editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar, and Jennifer De Winter, senior vice president of the Americas of Tiffany & Co. You’ll be able to see it on the northern side of the building from 8:30pm to midnight on April 19.

Next on the lights schedule is green lights on April 22 for Earth Day then yellow and orange lights on April 25 for Project Sunshine Week. Yes, you should Instagram all of them.

Gwyneth Paltrow, March 2012 Harper’s Bazaar
Photograph: Terry Richardson
Reese Witherspoon, February 2016 Harper’s Bazaar
Photograph: Alexi Lubormirski
November 1920 Harper’s Bazaar
Illustration: Erté
Photograph: Patrick Demarchelier
Stephanie Seymour, February 2002 Harper’s Bazaar

 

Source: timeout.com

3D Modeling in Fashion: Here, Now, and the Future

3D modeling in fashion

Contrary to popular belief, the fashion industry isn’t all glitz and glamour. It’s fast-paced and very competitive. If you don’t keep up, you are at risk of getting left behind. This is why the biggest names in fashion are always on the lookout for what’s hip and happening.

Fashion capitals of the world are brimming with high-end brands. Cities like Paris, New York, and Milan have influencers and designers alike that are looking out for The Next Big Thing. The result? Each fashion house keeps their eyes on the lookout for whatever their competitors are doing. Although every region and fashion capital has their own charm and culture, the Italian fashion scene is one to look out for. It’s not only because the people dress very well there, but because it is a home to fashion. Iconic luxury brands such as Versace and Prada aren’t just headquartered there—they were born there as well!

So how does a fashion company keep up with the times and make themselves relevant? How do they get ahead through all the competition? After all, fashion isn’t just an art—it’s a business as well.

This is where modern day technology comes into play. In recent years, 3D modeling has made waves among the fashion community. Spearheaded by Iris van Herpen in 2011, the Dutch designer combined both 3d modeling and printing for her Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week collection.

The result? Applause and praise from critics and technology enthusiasts alike.

3D What?

3D modeling may be quite a foreign idea to the fashion world, but it has been around for quite a while. This technology is often used in architecture and fine arts industries in various applications. Oftentimes, 3D modeling is used in visualizing housing projects that are yet to be constructed. It has also been used in animation, entertainment, and even in academic and medical fields.

3D modeling could be done in a variety of ways. Yet, the most cost-effective way to go about it is through the use of computers and software. The results of this method may appear quite simple, as oftentimes the results are almost identical to the quality of photographs. However, 3D modeling actually entails the surface of an object to be mathematically represented in three dimensions. This is done through specialized software like 3DS Max, and the user can choose to have the 3D model to be displayed as a 2D image through 3D rendering, or recreate the model physically through 3D printing.

The future of fashion

Van Herpen isn’t the only designer who’s foraying into the 3D modeling world. Francis Bitonti, who has previously used 3D modeling for architecture, has forayed into similar fashion pursuits. The architect-slash-fashion designer has a shoe collaboration with United Nude. However, it’s not just his fashion forward footwear that’s put him on the limelight. Bitonti is best known for draping Dita von Teese in a 3D printed dress.

Up and coming designers aren’t the only creatives who are dabbling into this technology. Karl Lagerfeld has also used 3D modeling and printing in smaller doses. In 2015, Lagerfeld modernized the classic Chanel suits with 3D printed details.

Although 3D printing clothes has been a popular concept and is currently being studied by fashion designers and students alike, it will still take a while for it to be mainstream in fashion. According to Lynne Murray in an interview with The Smithsonian, it would take around ten to twenty years for people to begin to 3D print their clothes at home or in neighboring stores.

What we know today

On the bright side, 3D modeling isn’t exclusively only used for 3D printing. 3D modeling has also been used in marketing and advertising for products and architecture. Taking inspiration from Francis Bitonti, 3D modeling could be used to advertise clothing.

3D modeling can be rendered to a 2D image. This makes it quite easy to do certain promotion material. Instead of waiting for a physical copy of your design, you could use your rendered model to do any promotion even before it has been produced. This helps to get word out for your products if your business only sells products on a pre-order basis.

A rendered image of 3D modeling also helps you to decide if your design is physically possible or could highlight any unforeseen design issues. Sometimes, certain fashion designs look good on paper, but are difficult to execute physically. 3D modeling helps designers find out these complications before the design goes into production, allowing them to either modify the design or find techniques to get away with it.

In addition, the 3D model of your design could be uploaded to your website. Interested viewers can explore the details of the design in the comfort of their home. This helps make an online shopping experience more personal. It also gives the user an idea of the ins and outs of the product before they purchase it—something they would normally do if they were to purchase something in store.

If you also wish to follow the footsteps of Irene van Herpen’s 3D fashion movement, you can also easily print the designs once you have a good 3D model.

Now that you know what you can do with 3D modeling in your fashion business, where can you get somebody to do it for you? As mentioned earlier, you can run to 3D artists or architects trained in the field. In fact, as mentioned earlier, Francis Bitonti applied his own knowledge on 3D modeling and printing in the fashion industry! Similarly, RealSpace 3D, who is typically known for their architectural renders, is also capable of creating fashion related product renders and 3D models. The company has worked with several reputable brands such as Teck and Fluor.

In a nutshell, 3D modeling has various applications for you to get your fashion brand ahead in the cutthroat business. As Karl Lagerfeld put it in 2015, “What keeps couture alive, is to move with the times. If it stays like sleeping beauty in the woods in an ivory tower, you can forget it.”

Source: blog.else-corp.com

How To Make Espresso at Home

how to make espresso

If you’re familiar with espresso and have fallen in love with it (like us!), then you know that sometimes it feels like it would be impossible to replicate it in your own kitchen. But how can you get started making your own espresso with or without your mahlkonig ek43 or a rocket espresso? We will get you pointed in the right direction, so you can start pulling delicious shots in no time!

  1. First fill the reservoir of your espresso machine up (or connect your water line if the machine is plumbed!). And we know we’ve said this before, but please make sure your water is not too hard. An important first step is water treatment: distilled water can damage your boiler, while hard water can lead to some seriously accumulated scale.
  1. Turn your machine on and allow it plenty of time for it to heat up. Depending on how large your espresso machine is, that can take anywhere from 15 to 35+ minutes, so don’t assume you are all set to go as soon as you are at the brewing temperature. Instead, you should wait a bit longer until the whole machine feels nice and warm.
  1. Lock an empty portafilter into the grouphead. Then, for a couple of seconds, run the machine. This will brings fresh water up to the front and also heats the parts up that are closest to the coffee. Next wipe the inside of your portafilter off and the underside part of the grouphead and make sure they are dry and clean.
  1. Grind a couple of beans to make sure you have the appropriate fineness. Also, don’t forget to remove any old, stale grounds from your coffee grinder! The coffee should appear powdery and clump loosely, but still have a ‘sandy’ feel when you rub it between your fingers.
  1. We recommend dosing 18 to 21 grams of freshly ground into your portafilter. As the coffee exits the chute, make sure to slightly rotate the portafilter back and forth to ensure the grounds settle into the basket evenly. Afterwards, level the grounds with the tips of your fingers and fill in any air pockets.
  2. Tamp with your elbow, arm and wrist positioned directly over the middle of the portafilter basket. Use your fingertips to press evenly and feel the edge of the basket. Next, inspect the dry puck in order to determine if the ‘bed’ is level or not.
  1. Put the portafilter back into the grouphead and start the brewing process. If your machine has a separate “pre-infusion” or pre-brew stage, then complete it first. This enables the stored gas to be released before the full infusion start. When you have fresh coffee, you should pre-infuse until you first start seeing drops exiting out of the portafilter.
  2. Start the infusion process and end the brew at your predetermined yield. We recommend starting out with i2 fluid oz (if you are measuring by volume) or around 30 grams (if a gram scale is being used). Before you serve the espresso, pour or stir the espresso into another cup so you can mix the crema.

Read the full artilce at https://www.myespressoshop.com/blogs/news/how-to-make-espresso